White House dismisses linking Ukraine aid to reversal of natural gas policy

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The Biden administration has rejected an agreement with U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson to connect Ukraine aid with lifting the Biden administration's pause on new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses.

"The president has been clear that House Republicans should pass the bipartisan national security agreement that already passed the Senate as soon as possible to get Ukraine the aid it urgently needs to defend itself from Russian tyranny," the White House said in a statement on April 2, according to Bloomberg.

"The president supports the pause on pending, additional approvals of LNG export licenses to evaluate the economic and climate impacts on consumers and communities."

In January, the Biden administration ordered a halt in approving new licenses to export LNG to countries outside US free-trade agreements. This directive came as the Energy Department evaluated the impact of such exports on climate change, the economy, and national security, particularly concerning European, Asian, and other international destinations.

Following the distribution of $74 billion in aid to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion began in February 2022, progress on the next $60 billion aid package has hit a standstill within Congress.

Johnson has thus far declined to schedule a vote on the package amidst ongoing partisan discussions. However, he announced that Congress would vote on Ukrainian aid after the Easter holidays on April 7.

In the meantime, certain Republicans have advocated for providing aid to Ukraine through loans.

Read also: Why some far-right Republicans are hell bent on ending further aid to Ukraine

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